George Parish Throws Down Gauntlet, You May Call Him Councilman.
George Parish served as Sussex County Clerk of the Peace until recently. He’s a fixture on the Sussex County political scene, known as the loud and jolly fellow who would happily shout happy greetings when introduced.
George never married a same-sex couple though he did fulfill the obligations of his office by performing same-sex unions. Bob cannot marry Brian until July 1st of this year. George Parish no longer holds the office responsible for same sex marriages and it’s all a relief to him.
Parish is running for Sussex councilmatic district #4-the area now served by Councilman George Cole. District 4 covers the inland bay area, including Ocean View and parts of Long Neck and Rehoboth.
“I would never run against an elected Republican,” George told me the morning of our interview. Even over the telephone George’s voice is jolly and humorously bombastic. “I have formed an exploratory committee to begin setting up a campaign for me. I have it on good basis that Cole is not planning to run again.”
While George has a claim to fame for his refusal to perform same sex marriages, George argues that he happily performed his job duties as elected, and he points out that EVERY Democrat from Sussex county voted AGAINST the same-sex marriage bill save Pete Schwartzkopf, and we certainly understand Pete’s support of the bill. Thus, Parish argues, he is not alone in his views that marriage should be kept between a man and a woman.
So what does George Parish plan to do as a Sussex county Councilman from District #4?
“I promise now and will not flinch in the future, to NEVER raise Sussex county property tax rates,” was the first response to that query and I think George means it.
It was the more general goals that Parish enumerated for his stint as Sussex Councilman that most intrigued me. Though I like that bit about property taxes but I suspect George’s Democratic opponent will make the same promise.
“I think the Sussex County Council needs to have more interaction with the state elected legislators,” George said, “and I’m going to do my best to make that happen.”
George would strive to have elected Sussex county council members testify in Dover for laws that greatly affect Sussex county. You can believe any proposed state legislation involving manufactured housing parks will greatly affect Sussex while Newcastle and Kent counties- not so much. Sure the council guys should be involved with state actions that affect us and I’m not so naïve to think this does happen, but it happens far from the ears of the citizens.
“I think it’s time we restore people’s faith in their government,” George said. Good luck with that George, but if I were ever to have one scintilla of faith in “government” it would be with my local elected guys. They did get the dolts behind me from taking over my property but I too had to work at it on QT.
Parish told me about an informal poll taken by the Cape Gazette that had over 77% of the respondents claim they thought the Sussex county council doesn’t pay attention or care about property use and planning.
A fact which is probably not true cause I’m guessing the Sussex county council spends quite a bit of time dealing with land use issues. But perception is everything and while the poll is not scientific, it sure is an indicator of how Sussex citizens perceive its county council.
My experience with the county council is spotty but in the interest of truth and fairness my councilwoman, Joan Deaver, is pretty good about scheduling local “Town Halls” . Yon readers should all have the same opportunities with your elected council people because this is a start.
Make no mistake we will be checking in on Councilman George Parish and see that he keeps his promises.
Oh, and don’t anyone I told you, but come election time and Parish ascends to a seat on the Sussex County Council he will have PLENTY of time to devote to the job.
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NEXT WEEK-The Sussex County Republican Woman’s Club-I will attend their luncheon and find out all the gossip. Come back next week for the scoop.